Writing Test Scores Improve for Some Georgia High Schools

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The average passing rate for the state of Georgia's high school graduation test is 95 percent, but Thomasville High and Thomas County Central scored above average.

School officials say first time test takers at Thomas County Central had a 99 percent passing rate and Thomasville High juniors had a 96 percent passing rate.

Dr. Tom McCall, Principal of Thomasville High School, says, "We've got some very good teachers and some very good students, and I know they concentrated in the fall to do well on the test."

Laura Parkerson, English Department Chair at Thomas County Central, says, "Our junior teachers are thrilled and they have worked very, very hard and we're just, we can't put it into words we're so close to that 100th percentile."

Students say practice was the key with teachers doling out writing assignments and constantly reviewing techniques.

Kristi Hester, a junior at Thomasville High School, says, "They drilled it in our heads. Five paragraphs with lots of examples and information in. Get your point across."

School officials say those students who didn't pass the writing test the first time around will have a few more chances to retake the exam before they graduate next year.

Steven Dupree, Assistant Principal of Thomas County Central, says, "We'll take that one percent that did not pass and maybe go back and do some remediation, some review, work on some writing techniques."

School officials add they will also focus on preparing students for the four remaining sections of the Georgia High School Graduation Test to be taken in the spring. School officials say students must pass all five sections of the test in order to graduate.